APRIL 2, 2020 - UPDATE
The Southeast Utah Health District (Carbon, Emery, & Grand Counties) issued an Amended Public Health Order (SEUHD2020-02), dated March 31, 2020 – seven (7) pages. This posted on their website, Wednesday, April 1, 2020.
“On March 27, 2020, the Governor issued a Directive to the State of Utah, known as the 'Stay Safe, Stay Home' directive, directing the citizens of the State of Utah to, among other things, stay at home as much as possible, to work from home as much as possible, directing high-risk individuals to avoid attending any gatherings outside their household, and to avoid meetings of more than ten individuals.” (p.1)
“Section 4. Public Gathering Places. All museums, gyms, exercise studios, spas, fitness centers, health clubs, indoor recreational facilities, churches, and all entertainment venues, including without limitation music performance venues, live stage performances, and lectures, located within Carbon, Emery, and Grand Counties shall be closed to members, guests, patrons, and the general public.” (p.3-4)
“Section 12. Duration. This Order shall expire April 15, 2020, at 11:59 p.m., unless renewed after further review.” (p.6)
Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s Directive to the State of Utah, dated March 27, 2020, states:
· “Exemptions to Directive for For-Profit and Nonprofit Organizations – 3. Faith leaders and workers, including an official, worker, or leader in a house of worship or other places of religious expression or fellowship, wherever their services may be needed. Faith leaders and workers also include a worker necessary to plan, record, and distribute online or broadcast content to community members.”
· This directive is “…in place until 11:59 p.m. on April 13, 2020.”
I briefly spoke with Mr. Orion Rogers of Moab’s SEUHD office today (April 2), and he asked us, in light of this new health order, to scale down the number of people in our services from (10) to the bare minimum, which is (5) – the number needed to do the livestreaming of our services. Again, this stringent restriction has an end date of April 15, 2020.
It is beneficial and important to do all we can to comply with these health orders, regardless of our personal opinions. It is a good testimony for the Lord, and also prudent for the safety of our church folks and community.
Please be sure to do all you can to engage in social distancing. We should be good at this by now.
March 28, 2020 - UPDATE
Yesterday we learned of the first postive COVID-19 test here in Grand County. In addition, Utah's Governor Herbert issued as "Stay Safe, Stay Home Directive" for all of Utah. Salt Lake City Mayor, Erin Mendenhall, made these graphics available for quick reference:
Moab Baptist continues to livestream all services (Sundays @ 10AM, 11AM, & 6:30 PM; Wednesdays @ 7PM) from this website and Facebook Live.
Mass gatherings are still at 10 people.
Those age 60+ are encouraged to remain at home with limited contact.
There is a "reserved seating" list for all services. Please call the office to check availability.
I'll be glad when this is DONE. Sure miss meeting together as a church family.
March 18, 2020 - UPDATE
At Moab Baptist Church we are committed to reaching our generation with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and this only the task that born-again believers and churches can accomplish. We constantly work to create a safe and secure environment on our property and in our facility for all of our gatherings, meetings, and activities.
With the spread of the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus here in America, I wanted you to know what we are doing to ensure that our facilities and church family are safe and protected.
We continue to closely monitor the latest developments and guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Utah Department of Health (UDOH), and the Southeast Utah Department of Health (SEUHealth).
Numerous public health orders are coming exceedingly fast to all communities throughout the United States of America. To say the least, it is difficult to keep up!
Here is what is NEW:
All church services and functions of Moab Baptist Church are suspended beginning today, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. This includes the Moab School of the Bible (Mondays at 6:00 PM) and the coffee fellowships (Tuesdays at 10:00 AM).
It is our intention, at this time, to meet again as a church body on April 1, 2020, at 7:00 PM for our regularly scheduled mid-week service. Of course, you will be notified of this date’s certainty as it draws closer.
· Tonight, at 7:00 PM, I am preaching in the auditorium and we are livestreaming this service.
· Sunday, March 22, at 10:00 AM, I will teach my Adult Bible Class lesson, livestreaming it.
· Sunday, March 22, at 11:00 AM, I will preach the Sunday morning sermon, livestreaming it.
· Sunday, March 22, at 6:30 PM, I will preach the Sunday evening sermon, livestreaming it.
· Wednesday, March 25, at 7:00 PM, I will preach the mid-week service, livestreaming it.
· Sunday, March 29, at 10:00 AM, I will teach my Adult Bible Class lesson, livestreaming it.
· Sunday, March 29, at 11:00 AM, I will preach the Sunday morning sermon, livestreaming it.
· Sunday, March 29, at 6:30 PM, I will preach the Sunday evening sermon, livestreaming it.
At this point, there will be a handful of select individuals (of course, no more than 10) who’ll help me during the church service times to make the livestreaming and audio aspects happen.
Soon after each of these services is done (give me an hour or two), these will be available online (archived). You can access these from our website (Media tab). They’ll be in video and audio form.
Tithes and offerings can still be made online, given personally (bring to the church any time), or mailed through U.S. Post Office (Moab Baptist Church, P.O. Box 145, Moab, UT 84532).
Here’s some background as to why this immediate and drastic change:
As of Monday, March 16, 2020, the Board of Health in and for Southeast Utah Health Department (Carbon County, Emery County, and Grand County) issued an extensive Public Health Order (#SEUHD2020-02, this has seven pages) that has shut down all dine-in restaurants and bars, limiting food services to take-out or drive-thru service, even closing all overnight lodging establishments.
What pertains to churches is Section 4 (p.5):
PUBLIC GATHERINGS. Effective at 10pm on March 17, 2020, all museums, gyms, exercise studios, fitness centers, health clubs, indoor recreational facilities, and all entertainment venues, including without limitation music performance venues, live stage performances, and lectures within Carbon, Emery, and Grand Counties shall be closed to members, guests, patrons, and the general public. Churches, and private clubs and lodges that do not sell or serve alcohol or food during the duration of this order, are exempt from this order… Churches and private clubs are encouraged to limit and restrict their functions and the gatherings of their members to adhere to this Order. (emphasis mine)
Also pertaining to churches is Section 7 (p.6):
GENERAL PROHIBITIONS. Effective immediately, the following prohibitions shall apply throughout Carbon, Emery, and Grand Counties:
· No public gatherings over ten (10) people shall be held. Weddings, funerals, wakes, viewings, and events sponsored by churches and private clubs which do not sell or serve alcohol or food shall be exempted from this Order.
For how long will this Order be in place? Section 8 (p.6):
DURATION. This Order shall expire in thirty (30) days unless renewed or terminated early. The SEUHD Health Officer shall re-evaluate this Order in fourteen (14) calendar days.
Praise the Lord, as of today, March 18, 2020, there are NO reported cases of coronavirus in Moab or within the Southeast Utah Health District.
Let’s pray for all those affected by COVID-19 and ask God for protection for our church family and facilities. We also pray for our government and healthcare leaders as they make decisions pertaining to this issues.
Folks, these are unprecedented, pressing, interesting, and extraordinary times. I’ve never had to deal with such recommendations before, nor has anyone else that I know of. I am not living in fear, nor am I being flippant. I continue to trust the Lord, having faith in Him for ALL areas and aspect of this crisis and our church’s ministry.
As the pastor of Moab Baptist Church, my goal continues to be to minister to the spiritual needs of Moab Baptist Church, those of the city of Moab and Spanish Valley, as well as Grand County, and beyond. I still consider Moab Baptist to be an essential part of this community, having a vital role to play.
We are using all the resources we have at our disposal to do so, and it’s getting to the point where we have to be very creative.
I am still working and keeping regular office hours.
I do intend to be visible to our church folks and even around town, of course, taking necessary and recommended health precautions.
Please keep checking our social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vimeo, and Sermon.net (all links on our website)
We also can still utilize the telephone – cell phones, landlines. Be sure to check up on our church folks. Minister to them the best that you can.
If you have any questions, PLEASE call me. Struggling with something? PLEASE call me. You can even come in and visit, or I can come to you.
It’s a great joy to serve our Lord with each of you. I look forward to seeing you soon!